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How do you respond when a coronavirus crisis hits?

Business coach for the Trades and Construction industry, Alison Warner, gives her expert advice.

In recent weeks we have all been thrown into an unprecedented situation, one that we have never seen before in our lifetimes.

For landscape gardeners, I would imagine that this couldn’t have happened at a worst time, just as you come into your busiest months.

So how do you respond? Well, at times of huge challenge such as this, it is all about how you adapt, and the speed at which you do so.

Here are the key things to think about:

  • Plan for the worst, expect the best. This includes re-forecasting sales and reducing costs so that you have a clear picture of your cash flow situation across the coming weeks and months. It may sound obvious, but having a clear handle on the numbers is crucial, both for your mindset and business planning.

 

  • Think about how can you adapt your business model to serve your customers in different ways? I’m sure you have a wealth of knowledge that you could share on your subject. Whilst people are constrained to their homes, they will be looking to develop new hobbies or need advice on plant and tree care. What could you share with your customers via videos, live chat or Zoom meetings? What new products could you create.

 

  • How strong is your social media profile? If this is something you have neglected, now is the time to bring it alive! Ensuring you have a thriving Facebook business page, are posting regularly and maybe even doing the odd Facebook live session, will all help build your brand awareness, so that when we do come out if this, you will be first on people’s minds.

 

  • If technology and social media frighten the life out of you, don’t try and work it out by yourself. Use your local networks. There may be someone you know who is a whizz at such things, who you could help in return – good old-fashioned bartering!

 

  • Think about what changes you would like to make in your business to make it leaner and more efficient, so that when we do get back to normal, you can hit the ground running.

 

  • Plan for the winter months. What products or services could you offer to grow sales in perhaps a traditionally quiet period?

 

  • Keep communicating regularly both with your team and customers. In times of crisis I don’t think you can ever communicate too much.

 

  • Review your customer journey from the point of enquiry through to quote, delivery and finally payment. What can you add to each touchpoint that could really wow the customer? This doesn’t have to involve spending money; it could be as simple as a caring follow-up call. If people were raving about your business, what would you be doing differently?

For more tips and advice, please join our Trades and Builders Business Growth group on Facebook or visit our website.

Alison Warner, Author of ‘How to go from Tradesperson to Managing Director in the Construction and Trade Industries’.

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